Every year, dozens of West Virginia workers lose their lives at factories, construction sites, mines and other jobsites. However, the latest figures show that 2010 was the worst year in recent history for worker fatalities.
A Dangerous Year for West Virginia Workers
In 2010, worker fatalities in West Virginia more than doubled compared to 2009. A total of 41 West Virginians lost their lives in work-related incidents in 2009, while a startling 95 workers were killed in 2010. This increase forced a tragic loss on 54 more grief-stricken families, leaving them only the type of justice available through Charleston job injury lawyers.
The numbers on West Virginia workplace deaths were recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 1992, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has recorded state-specific information on workplace fatalities in their Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program. Although final 2010 results will not be released until the spring of 2012, the preliminary data indicate that 2010 was the deadliest year for West Virginia workers in the 19-year history of the program.
Specific Workplace Hazards
In West Virginia, fires were most frequently to blame for worker deaths in 2010; fire accounted for 33 deaths total, including the 29 fatalities that resulted from the Upper Big Branch mining explosion (the last year workplace deaths due to fire were frequent enough to publish in their own category was 2006, with nine workers killed). Highway incidents were the second most frequent cause of worker deaths, increasing from 11 in 2009 to 20 in 2010 — the highest count since an identical number of roadway deaths were reported in 2001. Fatalities resulting from a worker being struck by an object or equipment also increased, from seven to eight.
Construction and extraction occupations had the most worker deaths at 37. Transportation and material moving occupations came in a distant second, with 21 fatalities.
Compensation for Families
The regression in workplace safety evinced by 2010’s fatality data is troubling for workers and their families. For many families, the heartbreak inherent to a workplace death is compounded by the financial hardships that accompany the loss of a breadwinner.
If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, get the compensation you deserve to see you through your time of need. Contact a West Virginia workplace accident attorney today to discuss your right to recovery.